I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Hiten, the groom in today’s feature, offered us such an eloquent retelling of the love story between he and his bride, Nicole, that we decided to step aside and let him take it from the top. An overwhelming thank you to photographer Lacie Hansen for sharing with us her work, and telling such a beautiful story with her images. Without further adieu, the groom:

The yoga class we religiously attend describes itself to be a style of class that, “offers nothing…if we are lucky.” And this is exactly how we met, within a whole lot of nothing. I came to class early one Thursday evening and Nicole did too. There was only one mat in the back of the class when Nicole came in, mine. She quietly set her mat down beside me and our relationship began. I guess somewhere in the silence and breath we found a connection to each other. Even before uttering a single word between us, we felt it immensely. We always reminisce about that time and about how glad we are that we met there, in that way. Yoga, for us, is a place where a person really gets to be who they are, without a façade, authentically themselves. You get to be someone who is working on strengthening not only the outside body but the inside as well, happy to live in the present. We both recall that particular yoga class being challenging but exceptionally robust and energizing. After class, as the crowd poured out of the studio, we both—uncharacteristically, sat and waited. I broke the silence by asking her how old she was when she realized that she lived a blessed life….I think we both immediately fell in love. We had our first date the next day on Friday February 5, 2010, said we Loved each other on Saturday, February 6 and on Sunday began to plan our marriage and our family. And that was it, no struggle, no fight, no second guessing. Just us.

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Seeing your wife for the first time at your own wedding is a surreal moment. And I remember that moment clearly. I was sitting under the mandap with my parents and Nicole was to be walked by her parents under the branches or our tree and through the audience. As she appeared and came into my view it was just like really seeing something with naked eyes, something for the first time and it is etched into my memory.

The whole day, as the tumult was swirling around us, I had made a mental decision to stay present and be within all the big moments that make up our wedding. And this moment was the one I was practicing for all day…in fact, probably, all my life.

As she stepped into the light where I could see her, he eyes were shining, her red sari was blazing around her like fire, and as corny as it may sound, she was literally that vision you see from far away and squint your eyes hard to make sure it is really real.

As she started to walk towards me, a soft breeze began to blow, and as if on cue, the 300-year-old oak tree sent its leaves to bless her movements. They fell slowly in circles from the sky and faintly the smell of flowers and earth filled my lungs. The only time I even took my eyes off my wife was to look up at the sky, the clouds bright in the light blue sky, and a flash of the mountains that circled our ceremony. When they finally rejoined my wife’s she was happy and that memory was pressed into me forever.

My uncle told me once, that as you grow old, it isn’t the big houses or the fancy cars you drove in your youth that make you really happy. He said it’s the memories you made in your life in the crucial times that matter. The feelings the strong ones bring you are worth all the struggles and hardships you went through to get them. With this memory, I agree.

We had a beautiful traditional Brahmin Hindu ceremony to celebrate our union, and wanted to carry the Indian influences on throughout the cocktail & reception with the decor as well as the food. We are both pretty laid back in our lifestyle as well as our personal style, so we wanted to wedding to reflect that, inviting and comfortable for our guests, with unique Indian inspired details throughout the event. For our colors, we choose a lot of gold and saffron tones with pops of indigo. Our wedding fell on a beautiful, warm full moon night and our memories of dancing under the full moon with all of our closet friends will remain some of the best memories of our lives together.

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Ojai Valley Inn & Spa Wedding Film {Nicole & Hiten} Ojai, Ca from LoveSpun Handmade Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Vendors | Photography: Lacie Hansen | Location: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Creative Direction + Floral Design: Kate Holt of Flowerwild | Wedding Planner: La Fleur Weddings & Events | Cinematography: Love Spun Films| Invitation Suite + Wedding Day Paper + Production: Amber Moon of Pitbulls and Posies | Wedding Day Calligraphy + Poem Artwork: Chelsea Petaja of Oh My Deer | Invitation and Envelope Calligraphy: Kelle McCarter of DesignsGirl | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Wedding Decor+ Rentals: Elan Event Rentals | Linens: La Tavola | DJ: Michael Antonia of The Flash Dance  | Wedding Dress: Junko Yoshioka | Shoes:Badgley Mischka | Hair + Makeup: Mar of TEAM Hair and Makeup | Lingerie: Claire Pettibone | Men’s Suit: Bar III | Men’s Shirt: Calvin Klein | Men’s Shoes: Bruno Magli

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James and Taylor Rae’s are wedding was a family affair, with everyone pitching in their talents to make the wedding memorable. Neverland Farms was the perfect fit for the pair, who wanted something relaxed and fun!

Read on to find out more from our bride, Taylor Rae! Special thanks to Amy Arrington Photography for her beautiful images!

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What were some touches added to make your wedding personal?

Family and friends are incredibly important to us and all the help that everyone put into making our wedding special meant a lot to us. My uncle performed our ceremony and made everything incredibly personal to James and I by incorporating both our marriage verse, James 1:17, and stories about us as a couple. I had the lace from my mom’s wedding dress wrapped around my bouquet along with my grandmother’s broach. The doors at our ceremony were sanded, stained, and put together by my mom, sister, dad, James, and I. I walked down the aisle to Phil Wickham’s song “You’re Beautiful” and the doors open when the song reaches a crescendo and I got to see James for the first time. It was The cross behind our pastor/uncle was made from 100+ year old wood and will hang in our home. The dolly runner on our couple’s table was made by my godmother. My sister made the bridesmaid’s jewelry that they wore. It was all the little touches on our wedding day that made it so personal to us!

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What was the most memorable part of the day?

James’ most memorable part of the day was seeing me ride in on the horse and carriage. My most memorable part of the day was the ceremony. We decided to not have a rehearsal the day before the wedding in order to add excitement and authenticity to the ceremony (admittedly this made me a little nervous!). After my dad and I walked down the aisle James thought it was time for him to take me from my dad (it wasn’t). There was an adorably awkward moment when James shook my hand and just stood there waiting. I’m sure he thought my dad was having second thoughts about giving me away. My our pastor/uncle had to pull him backing telling him it wasn’t his turn yet. My uncle joked about how eager James was to marry me and how it reflected his excitement for life. It was an adorable and sweet moment.

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How did you two meet?

We met on a blind date! A friend in my Bible study had been telling me about this guy she worked with who I “had to meet.” I kept putting her off because I wasn’t interested. Finally, after weeks of persisting I half-heartedly agreed. It still blows my mind that she was able to see potential chemistry between a University of Georgia and a Georgia Tech graduate. James picked the place and we met at a little restaurant in downtown Roswell, GA. I was incredibly nervous and it definitely showed because I made the introductions super short and practically ran inside the restaurant. All nerves seemed to settle very quickly though. We had such a great time that we closed up the restaurant that night and had to be asked to leave as they were mopping the floors!

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Tell us your proposal story (from James):

I knew I wanted to propose to her exactly one year from our first date. Taylor Rae and I decided to go away for the weekend to Highlands, NC to celebrate our one year anniversary. I probably lost 10 years off my life worrying about every detail with the proposal. It had rained all weekend and with a mountaintop proposal on a peak called “Sunset Rock,” rainy weather and clouds were not exactly what I drew up. I was also coordinating the secret arrival of both of our families (including her dad who was suppose to be on a trip in Argentina but had flown home early). Thankfully, everyone made it there safely, the rain lifted, and the clouds broke. It set the scene for an even-better-than-planned proposal. I walked her along the candlelit path, got on one knee, and asked the girl of my dreams to marry me. She said ‘Yes!’

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Vendors: Photography: Amy Arrington Photography // Videographer: White Dress Media // Ceremony and Reception Venue and Catering: Neverland Farms // Hair and Makeup: Aura Hair and Makeup and Jolie Day Spa and Salon // Cake: Memorable Creations Cake Shop // Florist: The Flower Post // Signs and Bridesmaid’s Jewelry: Bride’s Sister at Anchor of Hope Designs // Bride’s Dress: Jasmine Bridal from Wedding Angels // Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy After Six // Groom and Groomsman Suits: Savvi Formalwear // Groom’s Tie: Banana Republic // Groomsman’s Ties: J. Crew // Band: Drivetrain

Bryan and Megan met on tour as professional tap dancers. Naturally, their first dance was choreographed and Gene Kelly inspired! Everything from their Anchorman photobooth to the bride’s bespoke dress screams personality and fun! We just couldn’t get enough of this wedding and thought we’d let the gorgeous bride, Megan, tell you more about it, so read on below. Very special thanks to photographer Braedon Flynn. He always has the hippest clients, right?

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What was the theme/concept of your wedding and what inspired it?

Cozy Cozy Cozy! We really wanted to create an environment that was comfortable and encouraged a sense of community first and foremost. From the bench seating at the ceremony to the long table family style dinner, it really felt like an intimate gathering with the best of our friends. We made sure to keep everything very US. So in a sense, we inspired the theme! Both Bryan and I are very chill and relaxed individuals and wanted the day to run as such. I should be giving Bryan a little more credit on that, he really is Mr. Zen and it’s good when it rubs off on me too!

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Tell us about finding your dress!

I was one lucky gal in this department. Bryan’s mother Nina is an amazing ballroom dance gown designer, so naturally when she offered to make my dress from scratch I was in! It was so special spending the time designing it with her. She found the lace in Chicago and and literally whipped it up in a week! It was exactly what I wanted and I felt so honored to wear it knowing she made it all by hand. It was the best wedding gift I could ever ask for.

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Do you see Bryan dancing down the aisle?

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Were there any special additions to your wedding that made it unique?

Well, we did have an Anchorman photo booth! I had to pay homage to my favorite movie of all time after all. Bryan is quite the handy man and built the set! I found a really great salvaged desk from the flea market and we recreated the news desk set from the movie. Fake mustaches and scotch were readily available for props of course. Did this fit with our decor?… no… but I had to ask myself, WWRBD?

Who catered your event? Did you love the food? Tell us a bit about the menu!

Kitchen Mouse! I cannot say enough wonderful things about Erica Daking and her team. Bryan is a vegetarian so we went with an in season menu full of fresh California ingredients. So many of our guests [especially the meat eaters] raved about the food, it was incredible. My favorite was the roasted carrot and avocado salad as well as the Cauliflower Cous Cous. We also had delicious crostini platters on the table for guests to snack on, the fig and ricotta crostini’s were to die for. We now do our best to recreate the dishes every so often for dinner, not quite as good as Erica but good enough!

Who was your florist? Tell us about the experience of working with them!

We did the flowers ourselves, which was such a special experience. We picked the flowers up from the LA flower market the day before and had a fun family party with everyone arranging the table pieces. Our amazing planners from Gather Events put together the bouquets.

Who did you hire for entertainment?

DJ Smiles Davis, seriously we did not have to tell her one thing. We loved her vibe, she loved ours… and we partied hard. She is a dancer herself so dj’ing for a room full of dancers was right up her ally! We did not stop for anything, even to cut the cake. I think that was a sign of a good night. I even kept my tap shoes on throughout. Her choice of music and the way she read the crowd was unparalleled.

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Can you describe some of your favorite moments as you look back on your wedding day?

Bryan and I met on tour as professional dancers, I was an irish dancer and he was an american tap dancer. It was only fitting that our first dance be in tap shoes! [Obviously I bedazzled mine] We choreographed a Gene Kelly esq dance to LOVE by Nat King Cole. Minutes before the dance, we were in the bridal suite running through the routine as we had both never made it through yet mistake free! When we walked out hand in hand in tap shoes and saw the surprised look on our friends and family’s faces [I kept it a secret from my mom!] it was a moment of complete bliss. The dance went perfect and was such an incredible moment full of love. I know we will still be dancing together when we are 80.

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Vendors: Photography: Braedon Photography // Hair: Jennifer Loura // Makeup: Nicole Walmsley // Shoes: Ivanka Trump // Bridesmaid Dresses: BCBG // Groom Suit & Shoes: Zara Suit, Cole Haan Shoes // Catering: Kitchen Mouse // Coordinator: Gather Events // Entertainment: DJ Smiles Davis

Christina and Christopher were married in her parent’s backyard in Houston, Texas. Details from the day were inspired by everything from family recipes to careers. We’re absolutely obsessing over all the jewel toned colors and the big white tented reception! Very special thanks to Loft Photographie for sharing their work with us! Be sure to read all about the wedding in Christina’s write up!

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Our wedding took place in Houston, Texas in the 2-acre backyard of my childhood home, which my father designed and built. Having watched my “renaissance man” father build and fix everything as a child, it was a natural progression for me to become a structural engineer and architect, so having our wedding at the home my dad built felt just right. My husband Chris also enjoys building things and this common interest actually brought us together early in our relationship. Being close to our families, we felt that having our wedding at home would honor our families and family’s legacy. Many things about our wedding were handmade, and I have to thank my talented sisters and friends, who contributed in various amazing ways.

As a designer, I wanted to put many personal, homemade touches to the day. I designed the letterpress invitations on bold-colored papers and a RSVP postcard offset-printed with pawprints of our dog. When I couldn’t think of an image that encapsulated Chris and my relationship, I resorted to sketching Bernal Hill, where we went on one of our first dates to fly a kite. Napkins were stamped with a design I made of our silhouettes & a spirograph design, a childhood fascination of mine. The bridesmaids’ dresses were emerald, my mom’s favorite color, as a way of honoring her memory. I also wore my late grandmother’s pearls around my wrist. We served some of our favorite drinks to fight the heat: cold-brew Blue Bottle iced coffee (a San Francisco import), mint sweet tea, and strawberry-basil limeade.

At the ceremony, a table was setup with items for the comfort of the guests: botanical bug spray made by the bride’s sister, sandalwood fans, and emerald and chartreuse paper parasols. Two of my sisters made all the bouquets, foraging for grapes and various random vegetation growing in the backyard when it looked like the arrangements needed fillers.

The reception was held in a white pole tent in the backyard behind the lily pad pond and vegetable garden. As a gardener, I had a very specific list of jewel-toned flowers I wanted in the bouquets & arrangements: leucadendrons, Chilean peonies, thistle, anemone, mango calla lilies, silver dollar eucalyptus, sweet peas, and dahlias. Lisa Wright of HEB took this list and took my vision a step further, taking inspiration from one of my favorite books on floral arrangement, The Flower Recipe by Studio Choo. Native California echiveria were planted in homemade mercurized round jars as an homage to my now state of residence and her late grandmother who grew all sorts of succulents in the backyard. They were placed on a moss runner alongside the centerpieces. My dad made our photobooth and some photographer friends set up lights and an iPad on a tripod setup with a Photobooth app. The favors included a black tote bag with a hand-drawn collection of objects and images that the couple enjoyed together. My family is obsessed with gardening, so of course, my dad invited the guests to pick sesame leaf to take home.

Since the vast majority of guests were not from Texas, an entire day of events was scheduled the day after the wedding. As an ode to the Eames’ House of Cards, information cards outlining the day’s events were designed and setup at the brunch.

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Vendors: Photography: Loft Photographie // Caterer: Coode Co. BBQ // Floral Designer: Central Market // Musicians: Dave Zeger Strings // Dress Designer: Vera Wang // Equipment Rentals: Aztec Rentals // Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Ermeneglido Zegna // Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew

Kim and Donald decided on a spring elopement in Charleston, which is one of the most fun and romantic cities I’ve ever visited. We’re going to let their photographer, Kelly Sauer, tell you all about their incredibly romantic day, and how they tied the knot, southern style.

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We had one of those rare Charleston spring days when the breeze blew the heat away and the humidity lifted for the most perfect wedding weather. Kim waited at the hotel while Donald went ahead to meet the officiant and the guitarist Lindsey had booked for the ceremony at our Hampton Park location near the Citadel. He waited beneath the spanish-moss-covered crape myrtle for his bride to arrive in the Charleston Black Cab they’d rented for the day. Kim wore a one-of-a-kind, tea-length, fifties-style custom bespoke gown inspired by a dress she found on Pinterest, along with tasteful aqua heels. She carried a bouquet from Tiger Lily Florist (created by Lindsey Shanks), and wore a white flower in her hair that she had purchased in California for the occasion. Donald wore a suit they had purchased for the wedding, along with the cutest hedgehog cufflinks I’ve ever seen.

After the ceremony, we took a few portraits in the park before they climbed into the cab and drove to Sugar Bakeshop, Charleston’s favorite bakery, to share a cherry pie in celebration of their new marriage. From the bake shop, we drove to Philadelphia Alley, a location Donald himself had chosen to capture as much of Charleston in one spot as we could: cobblestones, wrought iron, architecture, and that little bit of historic-pirate-tropical refinement that makes this city like no other. We ended the day in another alley as the couple went to dinner at McCrady’s Restaurant, known for its creative and modern approach to traditional Southern cuisine.

I loved the wedding, but I loved this down-to-earth couple more than any details. From my first contact with them, their kindness and enjoyment of the simplest pleasures made them one of my very favorite couples ever, and I felt so honored to be a guest on their wedding day. They had been together six years, and it felt as if they had known each other forever. I loved their easy rapport and the way they brought beauty to life just by living it the way they did. They handed each vendor a thank-you note before they said goodbye, and even though it was their day, they showed such consideration for everyone with whom they came into contact.

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Vendors: Styled and Photographed by: Kelly Sauer and Lindsey Shanks of A Charleston Bride // Floral Bouquet, created by Lindsey Shanks: Tiger Lily Florist // Black Cab: Charleston Black Cab // Bakery: Sugar Bakeshop